Science and Engineering Report Released

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy hosted the National Science Board (NSB) and Foundation (NSF) leadership for the release of the 2024 U.S. Science and Engineering Indicators (S&E) report and to share the President’s NSF budget request for fiscal year 2025 (FY25).  

The report compiles data about the composition of the U.S. research enterprise and its trajectory relative to that of other nations, complementing thematic reports released throughout the year.

[The State of U.S. Science and Engineering 2024 Full Report | National Science Board Policy Brief: Talent is Treasure]

The 2024 report reflects that the U.S. performs more research and development than any other country. Yet, China has surpassed the U.S. in “STEM talent production, research publications, patents, and knowledge-and technology-intensive manufacturing.” It also found that the U.S. is particularly dependent on STEM workers born outside the U.S. at a time when math test scores for U.S.-born elementary and secondary students are particularly low, having dropped considerably during the pandemic. The U.S. STEM workforce consisted of 36.8 million people in 2021, and of these, 19 percent were born abroad, according to the report. Foreign-born workers also accounted for 43 percent of all doctoral-level scientists and engineers in the U.S.

In a policy brief accompanying the report, NSF’s governing board argues that the U.S. now faces an “accelerating STEM talent crisis”.  The NSB recommends that the U.S. rapidly ramp up efforts to increase the domestic STEM workforce and to also enact policies to attract and retain STEM talent from around the world.

Despite previous indications of workforce challenges, science budgets have fallen well short of targets proposed in the CHIPS and Science Act. In fact, Congress cut the National Science Foundation’s budget by 8 percent, to $9.06 billion for FY24.

For FY25, the President has requested $10.2 billion for the National Science Foundation, a $644 million increase – or 6.8 percent – over the FY23 enacted level. While FABBS appreciated the requested increase, we note that the President had requested $11.3 billion for FY24 and the broad scientific community as represented by the Coalition for Nation Science Funding, of which FABBS is a cochair, requested $11.9 billion for FY25.

According to the Office of Management and Budget, the budget prioritizes investments in:

  • Accelerating Regional Innovation
  • Strengthening U.S. Leadership in AI and Emerging Technologies
  • Advancing Climate Research and Development
  • Bolstering Research Infrastructure
  • Promoting Equity in STEM Education and Workforce Training
  • Increasing Research Security and Oversight

[Fact Sheet: President Biden’s 2025 Budget Invests in Science and Technology to Power American Innovation, Expand Frontiers of What’s Possible]

[Fiscal Year 2025 Budget: Research and Development]

[Fact Sheet: The President’s Budget for Fiscal Year 2025]